Afghanistan was the scene of one of the most significant gatherings in Asia on International Women’s Day. A meeting in Kabul brought together more than a thousand people, providing a forum to take stock of developments since the fall of the Taliban, notorious for their repression of women. Speakers included President Hamid Karzai. He highlighted the need for better education as a key to improving social status. Women’s groups say that much more needs to be done, especially outside the big cities where entrenched customs are seen as hindering progress.